Update May 5th – Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued some clarifications his latest executive order. Abbott said the same guidelines he issued for restaurants during phase one should be applied during receptions for wedding receptions. This includes 25% occupancy of the venue, limit seating to less than six people per table with only members of the same household and keep six feet of separation between tables.
Update April 23, 2020 – In Canada, Alberta’s orders in place prohibiting gathering of more than 15 people will be in place all summer.
Update April 21, 2021 – with the Safer-at-Home extended in Dallas County and the still urgency to practice social distancing, the restrictions of no gathering over 10 people might last for a few more months.
As wedding planners, we are always ready for a Plan B or for Plan C even, but nobody could have foreseen what has been developed in the last few weeks. Non of us had a pandemic on our radars. These are challenging times for every one of us, and as this dreadful virus continues to spread, our hearts are shattered for all the couples that are on the process to rescheduling their weddings.
As many others in the wedding industry, we recommend postponing instead of canceling. Not only will you be saving money – since most likely, deposits will be honored if your date has changed, but won’t be returned if the event is canceled – but there is no doubt that weddings will take on a more important role than ever, and the hope that they convey will be worth the celebration.
I have never imagine myself guiding couples throughout a pandemic; however here I am, writing down a few tips to make the difficult process of postponing your wedding, as painless as possible:
IF YOU HAVE A PLANNER, you are in a great position. The planner will be able to review all the contracts and contact all the vendors on your behalf. Your wedding planner will help you to navigate all your concerns and will give you alternatives to move forward.
If you don’t have a planner, REACH OUT TO YOUR VENUE FIRST, and ask for potential dates. Do not secure a new date until you have reached out and double checked availability with all your vendors. Be patient, you will be making a lot of calls and sending a lot of emails. Once you have everybody aligned, make it official and get vendors’ consents, to provide services on you new date, in writing. They will make an addendum to your contract and change the date on their invoices. If you have a venue with in-house vendors, the deliberation will be, for sure, easier and less stressful.
If you have planned a DESTINATION WEDDING, it might be safer to push your wedding to 2021 since it isn’t sure when travel limitation will be lifted.
INFORM YOUR GUESTS about the change in plans. If you have already sent out printed invitations, it might be a good idea to mail a “postponed card”. If you are on a stretched budget, you can notify your guests through a paperless post system. Send the postponement announcement as soon as possible, especially if travel plans are involved. If you have not come up with a new date yet, just announce the change of schedule and make sure to keep them posted. Do not forget to update your wedding website.
If your ORIGINAL DATE WAS NOT NEGOTIABLE, or you are not willing to wait to marry the love of your life, you might find a way to still get legally married and have you dream reception later. Check your county website periodically as they continue to update their appointment schedule.
Finally, do not fight against your emotional pain, anger, or frustration. Allow yourselves to feel sad for a bit and then look forward. Try to remain positive and do not stop dreaming about your big day. We know it will be beautiful and it will be worth the wait, because, when this has passed, we are going to celebrate big. Whether you’re a couple who’s supposed to be getting married or a vendor in our industry whose business has been impacted by the virus, we are all in this together.
Photo by Brooke Lark.